The struggle of the sexless class

| December 2nd, 2009

Hi everyone, I’ve already written a few posts for ChinaHush but I guess I should formally introduce myself. My name is CC and I’m currently studying philosophy at Peking University. I will graduate next spring from George Washington University. You can read more about me in the “About” section or e-mail me about anything at cc.huang2 at gmail dot com. Also – other places I am on the Internet: Chinamatic, Responsible China, Twitter, Tumblr.

20091202-dwelling-narrowness-01

"Dwelling Narrowness" (蜗居) (A Romance of House) was first a novel by Liu Liu until it was made into a television series in 2008. The television series depicts a story of two sisters who want to live at ease in the city but are confronted with a variety of issues, mainly ridiculous housing prices. My Chinese friends always tell me that most Chinese people save their money primarily for three reasons: to buy a house, to pay for their children’s education, to pay for retirement. If a Chinese person can guarantee that they have these three things under control, they generally do not worry about living "the good life." However, the most important pursuit – buying a house – is becoming incredibly difficult even for people who are considered to be in the middle-class, especially in large cities. The television series "Dwelling Narrowness" has become a hot topic among the Chinese population, mainly because it raises the issue of the outrageously overpriced housing market in China, but also because it brings up issues of sexual infidelity, the difficulty of non-city dwellers to move into the city, and issues of social class. The following essay looks at "Dwelling Narrowness" and the issue it raises of "sexless classes" and how it relates to power and wealth.

The Sociology of "Dwelling Narrowness": The Sexless Class and the Struggle between the Sexual Classes

By Lu Yingjiu 陆英九

In this day and age when I still have holes in my jeans, I have enthusiastically told a few of my friends that I will someday write a book entitled "The Sexless Class and the Struggle Between the Sexual Classes” (性无产阶级与性阶级斗争). However, the heavy nature of life as depicted in “Dwelling Narrowness" (蜗居) quickly made me forget about this plan.

The television series "Dwelling Narrowness" has caused critics to call it "a cruel story of sexual exploitation," and say, "in an environment with a widening gap between the rich and the poor, moral standards don’t exist, and sexual resources naturally flow toward the powerful and rich." Also, "The plundering of sexual resources has not only created a lack of social morality and justice, but has also led to a degrading sexual co-existence, few people have too many sexual resources, but instead the number of people that are relegated to sexual poverty and shortages continues to increase. This is no longer just a problem in a moral sense, but concerns the entirety of social stability."

"Sexual resources" and "sexual exploitation" are two terms that have made me think again about my previous plans and the two concepts: "sexless class" and "the struggle of the sexual classes." In a poorer day and age, when it was rather common to be property-less, most poverty-stricken men and women still had a stable family and a sexual partner to call their own. But, thirty years later, when GDP has been increasing 10% every year, and when the number of property-less are constantly decreasing − there is a rising number of men and women who are part of the "sexless class."

The reason behind the creation of a large "sexless class" is still due to an imbalance of material wealth. The most fundamental reason is also due to the most important material asset – a serious imbalance in the housing market.

Using different standards of property ownership, men can be hierarchized into four classes. The lowest ranked are men who share rent, next are men who can only rent, third are men who are merely economically competent, and the highest ranked are men with wealth and power. The first group of men have no home of their own, thus they don’t have the economic conditions to get married. They are not necessarily sexless, but their sexual partners are just like their rent – shared. Once in a while they can find women that other men have slept with before. The men who are renting a home have a home to temporarily call their own and in a protected system of monogamy they also have their own women, temporarily, but this is all provisional. A netizen says, "Dwelling Narrowness” tells us that men with wealth and power, as long as they try just a little, are invincible in chasing women." The women they are chasing are often the wives or girlfriends of the men who are renting. The men who are economically competent have their own homes, albeit modest and affordable, have their own wives, although not necessarily glamorous. These should be basic requirements for the middle class. Unfortunately, a society that is guided by power and money do not let this cautious, hard-working middle class slip away either; they still reach into their pockets and still take their women. So, the economical men become slaves to paying for their property, and the women of these property slaves are like the fruit in a fruit market to be picked through. Once they catch the eye of a rich and powerful man, few can maintain their integrity. Rich men have mansions, considerable power and a large amount of money, just like Song Siming in "Dwelling Narrowness". They can do whatever they want in this day and age that belongs to them. And as long as they like a certain woman, it is very hard for her to resist the black hole of power, wealth, and stature that they use to lure her in, especially the women of the men who can only afford to pay rent.

That is to say, the men who rent have no stable sexual resources and the men who share rent are basically of the sexless class, the men with sufficient economic means are in the sexual middle-class, and the men with wealth and power are the sexual bourgeoisie. The main struggle is between the sexless class and the sexual bourgeoisie, while the sexual middle-class sits on the fence – they want to be like the sexual bourgeoisie and steal women from the sexless class, but they are also afraid that their own women will be stolen by the sexual bourgeoisie.

The covert war of the sexual classes has been going on for years and now the war has been made public, but the fight has become one-sided. The sexual bourgeoisie use power, money, culture, property, organized crime groups, etc. to launch a comprehensive attack on many fronts. The defense of the sexless class has been completely shattered, and only the system of monogamy is giving them the ability to resist. In the meantime, the observers of the struggle, the sexual middle-class has discovered that one of the armies of the sexual bourgeoisie is attacking and closing in from behind.

The sexual bourgeoisie is not only depriving others of sexual pleasures, they are destroying the entirety of society. Zhao Xiaobo, a netizen, says, "If ‘Dwelling Narrowness’ was banned, it would not be because it contains topics relating to sex, it would be because this TV series is like a needle, it pokes at the sensitivities of the whole society, making us understand exactly what is sabotaging our values system. ‘Dwelling Narrowness’ is a vivid portrayal of society as a whole, it rips down the magnificent curtain and only leaves the tear stains to be seen."

What tactics do the men who share rent, the men who rent, and the men of the middle class have left? Don’t count on feminism, in an age controlled by men with wealth and power, women are helpless to undertake any –ism; the more rights they have, the more powerless they become. Silent Orchid Valley, another netizen, says, "’Dwelling Narrowness’ tells me that ordinary people are not fit to have love or happiness. While reality is very cruel, only those who stand proudly qualify to be happy. Happiness is only for those who do not become slaves to reality."

If the sexless class and the sexual middle-class still want love and happiness, their only way out is for the sexless class to join together with the sexual middle-class. With their backs against the wall, they must engage in drastic combat against the sexual bourgeoisie. That is, they must rupture the system created by the men with wealth and power and cut off the dirty hands that they have used to plunder society. After the rich men have lost their filthy wealth and corrupt power, they will no longer be indomitable. Then, the people who live in the Dwelling Narrowness can carry their heavy shells and step by step continue to crawl forward. It will be hard work to get the little bit of reliable happiness in their shell, to have the sexual partner that they can call their own. However, in their eyes there will be no toil, in their hearts there will be no darkness.

—————————–

(If you cannot see YouTube videos in China, try use VPN software : Freedur,  and use coupon code CHINAHUSH to get 10% off.)

“Burning Wings” by 樊凡
Lyrics:

我知道不被原谅
心该往哪里游荡
是谁划走我们的船
能让你死心的向往
一直以为自己能够启航
夜晚的美有多长
思念情绪在发狂
风筝一辈子只会为
一根线在天空飞翔
你却剪断去找所谓天堂
我燃烧了翅膀 你却像风一样
那风铃在摇晃 倾听一种悲伤
我燃烧了翅膀 到不了你身旁
我挥动燃烧的翅膀 到不了你身旁
尘封已久心伤 回归到信仰

18 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. FeralCat says:

    Sexually deprived male is looking for cute middleclass pussy to engage in drastic combat against the sexual monopoly of some upperclass tigers. Needs to have a mind of her own and little concern for security. Otherwise she should be clean, somewhat loyal and arguably submissive when requested. Preferably no kittens; sharp claws are allowed.

  2. always says:

    I am one of the fans of your blog. and wish you to keep uploading some interesting information about china. actually those are so good to read. I am Korean, so chinese views on Korea seems even better. 😀

    • Key says:

      Thank you for your support, I will keep my eyes out for Chinese views on Korea, acutaly it is a topic thats been talked about alot. However alot of them are negative…

      • ustcbbs says:

        The origin of some negative comments may be Korean media or government. When my wife first came to a US lab, her new Korean colleague asked my wife while eating her apple, “Do Chinese people have money to buy apples? Do China produce apples?” My wife was very shocked by these silly questions. Out of polite, my wife once appraised her colleague for her new dress. This Korean lady again asked a stupid question, “Do you Chinese people think everything in Korea is wonderful?”

        But I believe only part of Korean people have such naive thoughts. I have a Korean colleague who is a pretty good girl.

        Anyway, what I know is there will be more than 2 million Korean people living in China by 2010, most of whom are not willing to go back to Korea. 2 million is not a small number. I would suggest “always” to ask your Korean friend in China what they feel with China and what is China.

  3. meerkat- says:

    I’m guessing there’s no version out there with subtitles..

    • ustcbbs says:

      So far there are not. The devil behind the ridiculous housing price is the irrational behavior of local governments in China. Chinese government officials get promotion when they increase the GDP of the city or province they govern. And a super efficient but irrational way to get stable 8% annual increment of GDP is to sell the land-use right. Such things is happening every day…and the government enjoys it very much.

  4. ustcbbs says:

    Something gossipy…

    凤凰卫视12月11日《总编辑时间》:

    吕宁思:北京经常有外地民众“上访”,也就是伸冤,这不是新闻,但是上访的如果是
    个外国人,还是个哈佛大学毕业的女性,就是引人注意的奇闻了。今天我所讲述的,就
    是一个女老外在中国上访的故事。现年三十岁的美国姑娘(朱莉.哈尔姆斯),一九九八
    年以留学生身份到安徽合肥进行社会调查,期间邂逅任职邮局保安的刘士亮。两人一见
    钟情,经一年多书信往来后开始相恋,并计划于07年结婚。不料在结婚前夕,刘士亮在
    安徽五河县的家人与邻居发生纠纷,双方在村中发生殴斗,刘士亮头部被打至重伤。事
    后这名邻居因故意伤害罪被法院判囚5年,刘士亮以为事件告一段落,但08年6月五河县
    警方突然以“非法侵入他人住宅罪”将他拘捕。朱莉坚持认为未婚夫无罪,在未婚夫被
    捕后的几个月里,她四处奔走,从地方到中央层层上访,也曾给中国国家主席胡锦涛、
    国务院总理温家宝写公开信,但都没有结果。

    上月美国总统访华期间,她还企图向同为哈佛校友的奥巴马陈冤,不过被当局阻止,还
    给扣押了几个小时。赴京、排队、申诉、等待,在经历了所有中国人上访必须的过程后
    ,朱莉说她体会到了文化与法律制度之间的差异与隔阂。

    她接受媒体访问时说出自己的感受:“我为什么上访?当我和众多上访者拥挤在国家机
    关门前的队伍中时,当我被那些盼望公正的眼神震撼时,当我和他们一样感到被敷衍时
    ,我也常问自己这个问题。信访处门前,每天挤满了各地的访民。这里上午发号,下午
    叫号。人们早早排好队,希望可以有机会陈述冤情。我看到,有些好不容易排到前头的
    上访者,因为没带身份证,被门卫一句轻描淡写的话打发回家。访民们一开始还以为我
    是个记者,他们向我讲述自己的遭遇。许多问题因为经年累月得不到解决,已积重难返
    。他们似乎对结果也不抱希望,唯一的寄托就是不停地上访。我在王府井新华书店买了
    好多中国法律方面的书,刑法、刑事诉讼法、宪法、信访条例。看完了这些书,我觉得
    跟美国的法律条文区别也不算太大,差距来自执行上。比如按照信访条例第23条,信访
    机构应该给上访者书面答复,但是我从来没有得到。只是偶而得到一张小纸条,告诉我
    下一次上访的时间,和我应该去解决问题的地方。”

    据悉,朱莉上访事件已惊动中国公安部部长孟建柱,案件12月2日于安徽开庭,但未当
    庭宣判,刘士亮继续还押。此案如何判决,将持续引起各方关注.不过,如果仅仅因为
    朱莉是位金发洋人而顺利终结她的上访旅程,我觉得对于不少同胞来说,也不一定公平
    。总有先来后到的。

  5. ustcbbs says:

    But I found one of the songs appeared in Dwelling Narrowness. Of course, it’s in Chinese.

    The full CD version:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arDSBvv8cEQ

    and the version that appears in the episode:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuVt6xRPqew&feature=related

    The lyric was translated as follows

    I know it wont be forgiven
    Where is my heart going
    Who’s rowing our boat
    and making you so fascinated
    I thought I could row the boat

    It’s such a beautiful long night
    and I miss our past so much

    A kite will fly only for one thread
    But you cut the thread to seek your heaven

    I burned my wings
    but you left me like the wind

    Windbell is swinging
    and listening to my sadness

    I burned my wings
    and could not reach you

    Forget the heartbreak
    and live with the religion

  6. gbmbg says:

    Wow, for someone who claims to be carrying out a “sociological” analysis, the author of that article seems to be completely unaware of the huge pile of prejudices that he’s bandying around. The text strips women of any sort of agency and treats them, quite literally, like a material good.

    • cc says:

      Right, I completely agree. The author is quite blunt with how women are conceived of in this system. However, if you watch the TV series you will realize that one of the main woman characters in the show completely strips herself of agency and allows herself to literally become an object of affection. Perhaps it is not quite an issue of women “choosing” to be objects because of their economic restraints, but it is a sad fact that there are woman who eventually become a symbol of power and wealth, rather than an autonomous individual.

      • BV says:

        So basically “all chinese women are whores” is the premise of this. Nice going. Keep it up !!!

        • cc says:

          I was pretty careful not to be absolutist in my response.

          Also, if you understand the tone and meaning of the above article, it is a criticism of realities that the author finds in society, a commentary on the importance of economics in our social interactions, and a nuanced analysis of certain masculine values that are prominent in Chinese society.

    • Al Jensen says:

      The thing is in China women often use their sexuality to barter for better living conditions, and in fact are often encouraged or even demanded to do so by society at large. Part of this might be because here filial love often trumps romantic love, or perhaps it is because living conditions are, for most people, often inadequate unless strict planning and self-control are employed.

      From the mens’ perspective, it boils down to the equation that more money = more sex. This is reductionist and ignores the choices women make in negotiating their limited economic and social opportunities, but nevertheless in practice it is basically correct.

      Nobody wants to have sex with a guy who lives with his Mom.

  7. ustcbbs says:

    The author of Dwelling Narrowness, Liu-liu (Six-six in English), criticized the western countries about their shameless behavior in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Dec 7 – Dec 18 2009 Copenhagen) yesterday in her own blog.

    http://www.bachinese.com/forum/read.php?tid=28505

    至无耻则无敌
    这个丹麦会议开得真是热闹。

    我其实一直觉得这样的官样哄大国高兴的会议可开可不开。除了耗费人力物力财力,实在没什么好处。我想奥巴马早就知道如果2012到了,他会在诺亚方舟上,所以他是不屑跟纳米比亚,洪都拉斯,瑙鲁这样国家的领袖同在一张餐桌上吃饭的。

    其实温总理也不必担心。凭中国占了世界1/5人口,要是2012来了,您就是靠举国之力,也是能上船的,所以大可不必鸟那奥巴马。等真的上了船,据说那个船还是MADE IN CHINA,丫再不听你的,设机关暗道废了他。

    中国的历史,就是胜者为王败者寇的历史。中国的历史就是只看结果不计过程的历史。

    我小时候经常被卧薪尝胆这样的故事激动得热血沸腾,到了35岁回头一看,这不就是为个人恩怨,疯狂地不计后果地报复社会的故事吗?勾践为了能活下去不被杀,夫差的大便都舔,为了报个人恩怨,养兵囤土,忍辱偷生二十多年,为了踏在勾践头上,不惜把稻谷种子种熟了给吴国百姓种,活活饿死他们。

    就这点思想,还三千年来不断被传承颂扬呢!我们都没读出其间的精髓,搞来搞去都是自己人打自己人,窝里反。

    中国历史故事,其实是放眼四海皆准的故事。

    勾践为什么要免百姓税赋呀,是让他们富裕起来国盛民强。勾践为什么要鼓励生育,把国家的老人小孩养起来啊?是为了让他们都能出去打仗。勾践为什么在国内一副受人爱戴的贤君模样啊?是为了让老百姓感激他,到时候为他卖命送死。

    中国都没把关系理顺了。

    美国就把中国史读得很透。

    历任总统都是严格执行春秋战国道义,宽以律己,严以待人。对自己的老百姓,那叫一个好,用中国买的国债去还老百姓借银行的债,拿世界的钱让老百姓挥霍。减排是你们的事,但享受是咱老百姓的权利。

    有这样的总统和体制,没见美国老百姓都一致对外?打谁都心甘情愿纳税。人打也不白打,打完了把胜利果实带回来一起分赃。

    中国的史书,自己写了,但都白读了。就晓得自己关起门来内斗。防自己的老百姓胜于防虎。扣算着不给老百姓吃,不给老百姓喝,省点钱都交给美国银行,人美国会因为你把钱交给人家就感激涕零吗?人内心里骂你傻B,活该被踢。

    当年夫差也是说自己仁义宽厚的,不与勾践计较,在越国受灾的时候,无偿给予诸多粮食,结果换来第二年勾践还回的煮熟的米种子。(这个好像有点像美国人民遭受洪涝灾害,中国人民给予物质帮助吧?)

    天天吃亏,就不长见识。这叫啥?这就叫没有大思维。中国历史没有与世界形式接轨,纵向与横向没有联系。

    中国与其天天去哄大佬们高兴,但回头大佬天天不高兴,每次都被涮,我看不如这种鸟会不去,回来哄老百姓高兴,也不至于出现内忧外患。

    把春秋战国给研究透了,中国就能实现大一统了。民富了,国也就强了。

    这个世界其实都是女人心理,女性心理的表现就是慕强。只要你强,不问出处,不讲道理,就你好,都你赢,委身跟着你。你推都推不走。一两个不跟你的想自己玩的,你就揍那姑娘就行了,不仅你揍,其他女人也帮着你揍,目的就是讨好你,让你有一晚上的宠幸。

    对内强,对外弱的,那叫色厉内荏,只能叫男人也看不起,女人也看不起。

    不要老拿什么仁义道德标榜自己。对内要仁义道德,对外要不讲理。越是蛮不讲理,越是无耻越无敌。

    等咱强了,让奥巴马排队进门,咱逆向从出口进会场。给他俩耳刮子。

    • ustcbbs says:

      Ther’s a place in your heart
      And I know that it is love
      And this place could be much brighter than tomorrow
      And if you really try
      You’ll find there’s no need to cry
      In this place you’ll feel there’s no hurt or sorrow

      There are ways to get there
      If you care enough for the living
      Make a little space
      Make a better place…

      Heal the world
      Make it a better place
      For you and for me and the entire human race
      There are people dying
      If you care enough for the living
      Make a better place for you and for me

      If you want to know why
      There’s a love that cannot lie
      Love is strong
      It only cares of joyful giving
      If we try
      We shall see
      In this bliss
      We cannot feel fear or dread
      We stop existing and start living

      Then it feels that always
      Love’s enough for us growing
      So make a better world
      Make a better world…

      Heal the world
      Make it a better place
      For you and for me and the entire human race
      There are people dying
      If you care enough for the living
      Make a better place for you and for me

      And the dream we were conceived in
      Will reveal a joyful face
      And the world we once believed in
      Will shine again in grace
      Then why do we keep strangling life
      Wound this earth
      Crucify its soul
      Though it’s plain to see
      This world is heavenly be God’s glow

      We could fly so high
      Let our spirits never die
      In my heart I feel you are all my brothers
      Create a world with no fear
      Together we cry happy tears
      See the nations turn their swords into plowshares

      We could really get there
      If you cared enough for the living
      Make a little space
      To make a better place…

      Heal the world
      Make it a better place
      For you and for me and the entire human race
      There are people dying
      If you care enough for the living
      Make a better place for you and for me

      Heal the world
      Make it a better place
      For you and for me and the entire human race
      There are people dying
      If you care enough for the living
      Make a better place for you and for me

      Heal the world
      Make it a better place
      For you and for me and the entire human race
      There are people dying
      If you care enough for the living
      Make a better place for you and for me

      There are people dying
      If you care enough for the living
      Make a better place for you and for me

      There are people dying
      If you care enough for the living
      Make a better place for you and for me

      You and for me
      You and for me
      You and for me
      You and for me
      You and for me
      You and for me
      You and for me
      You and for me
      You and for me
      You and for me

    • CC says:

      Thank you for the share!

  8. You made some decent tips there. I looked on the web for the issue and found most people will go along with your site.

Leave a Comment

Prove you are human! *
Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Sex, Money & Power: with Chinese characteristics | China Hope Live
Kepard - Premium VPN Service

Latest Posts

Send or Receive Money in China

David Goldman | August 16th, 2016
bankwire

5 luxury hotels in Asia

Oliver Verot | June 2nd, 2016
ritz-bund-view-suite

Recent Comments

Is it normal to get an erection while reading such an eerie story? I feel extremely uncomfortable... And also Matthew…» more

Is it normal to get an erection while reading such an eerie story? I feel extremely uncomfortable... And also Matthew…» more

Hi! I am a 11 year old and I do not understand what the word prostitute means... Can somebody explain…» more

right everybody wants money» more

see if you have a line i will send a screenshot of that taiwanese girl to you» more

Subscribe by email

Enter your email address: